Best Friends and Favourite Foods

22 May

I am truly blessed when it comes to friends. I have some extra special best girlfriends who have been there for me through the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the youth and the wrinkles. Ria and I met at school, a wonderful convent in South London, and have been best friends ever since.

We laughed through our school days, she sent me stamps to write to her when I went to University as I was poor and she was earning. She also gave me a sewing box as a going away gift and still, to this day, gets me to adjust her clothes and sew on buttons. We even worked at the same company for a few years and mopped up the tears through tough endings to relationships in later years.

She invited me to a weekend with friends in Scotland without telling me we would be walking part of the West Highland Way. She knew I would have refused, but we had fun and I forgave her, eventually.  Then I told her she was doing a run to raise money for Charity and she didn´t complain once.

Hot, sweaty but very happy with what we achieved!

We know and love each other´s families like our own, and also know our way around each other´s kitchens. Very important indeed.

When we both hit 40 within a month of each other (not soooo long ago), we threw a massive party then went off on a Round the World Trip.  I have a lovely photo of us on our last day before we headed back to London. It was taken in Hong Kong on the Kowloon ferry. We don´t look glamorous, or made up. In fact we look exhausted, a little chilly, but happy. We had spent about 3 months in each other´s company 24/7 and not a cross word or row, just fun, laughter and quite a few adventures.

I moved to Spain permanently six years ago, and we had to find a new way to make things work across the miles.  E-mails, phone calls and of course, visits.

So, when your best buddy comes to visit you don´t want to spend too much time in the kitchen as there is talking, laughing, dog walking and wine drinking to be done.

We barbecued squid which we enjoyed in the sunshine.

We ate what we jokingly called a “deconstructed chicken salad sharing platter for friends” – cold cooked chicken, spiced cauliflower, a platter full of delicious vegetables and topped with blanched then grilled asparagus with a lemon dressing and mayonnaise. Perfect for sharing.

And of course, my best friend knows how much I adore curry, so several happy hours were spent in the kitchen cooking up a storm, or the “Cortijo Curry” as we called it. Goat curry, tarka dhal, spinach and tomato curry, poppadums and roti.

I´ll share the recipes with you soon, but now I´m tired, happy and sad, and rather full up, so I´ll leave you with a photo of the perfect dessert for friends who don´t have time to make dessert.


70 Responses to “Best Friends and Favourite Foods”

  1. gardenfreshtomatoes May 22, 2012 at 13:11 #

    Lovely, lovely post, Tanya…How wonderful to have a friend like that!
    After you’ve recovered, could you tell us more about the spiced cauliflower? I’m intrigued…

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 19:27 #

      I am lucky indeed! The cauliflower had been blanched and then we tossed it in olive oil, Maldon salt and crushed peppercorns and cumin seeds then placed it on a baking tray which then went onto the barbecue when we did the squid. You could do this in the oven or a frying pan too. We had some left over and decided that it was even nicer cold the next day in the salad!

  2. Promenade Claire May 22, 2012 at 14:06 #

    Your words shine through, your friendship is obviously very very special (I know what it’s like to go travelling for 3 months)! My bestie lives in Amsterdam so I know all about the texts, emails, calls, cards, and now the blog.. laughs….. It sounds like a super weekend. And I adore goat curry, just so you know I’m looking forward to the recipe 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 19:29 #

      It is a very special friendship – we´ve been through a lot together over the years! And it sounds like you know exactly how it is with your friend equally far away. Goat curry recipe to follow soon…promise!

  3. thecompletecookbook May 22, 2012 at 14:09 #

    What a lovely post Tanya. How very special to still have such a perfect friendship!.
    🙂 Mandy

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 19:29 #

      Thanks Mandy, I know that I am a very lucky person to have a friendship like this, and some other very special girlfriends too!

  4. Florence May 22, 2012 at 15:00 #

    Such a lovely post T. Friendship is a very special gift. The food looks delicious.
    Regards Florence xx

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 19:30 #

      You´re right, it is a very special gift indeed.. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Mad Dog May 22, 2012 at 15:31 #

    The squid, salad and curry look excellent – it sounds like you’ve have a lovely time 😉

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 19:30 #

      We ate and drank like Kings (or Queens!) and talked and laughed until exhaustion overcame us (or was it the wine?!)

  6. ceciliag May 22, 2012 at 15:38 #

    That is awesome and i love the shot of you two in the bus?.. you look so alike! How wonderful to have found such a friend for your lifetime.. Love the dessert by the way! c

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 19:31 #

      Thanks Celi – that shot was kind of on a bus. It was the shuttle ferry that runs between Kowloon and Hong Kong – we were only there about 3 days but we went backwards and forwards lots of times and that was our last journey! It was my kind of dessert 😉

  7. ChgoJohn May 22, 2012 at 16:12 #

    What a great post, Tanya, a celebration of friendship. You’re both blessed to have each other in your lives. Having gone on a few trips with my Traveling Companion, I can well imagine the fun you two had during your trip. And that was some dinner you two shared, too!

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 19:32 #

      Thanks John – if you can travel with someone and still be friends at the end of the trip, you know you´re going to be there for each other for a very long time!

  8. spree May 22, 2012 at 17:15 #

    Tanya, I have a strong hunch you’re blessed with such good friends because you ARE one! Loved reading about this special connection you share that spans time and circumstances, includes traveling and story, laughter, wine and food! My hope for you in these coming days is that you’ll hold close every last lovely drop of your time spent together! We can wait on the recipes! (Thank you for sharing what you have!)

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 19:33 #

      Thank you for your lovely words Spree, I am indeed blessed with some wonderful friends who have got me through some dark days but have also been there to share the sunshine…lucky me!

    • PendleStitches May 23, 2012 at 10:27 #

      I think spree has hit the nail on the head! I have to say how beautiful you both look in these photos too. Who needs makeup when you are so happy and so blessed.

      • Chica Andaluza May 23, 2012 at 13:04 #

        Thank you so much Evie – I think a good dose of laughter and happiness does so much for you than a whole counter full of makeup!

      • PendleStitches May 23, 2012 at 13:39 #

        I agree!

  9. Karista May 22, 2012 at 17:42 #

    A lovely post Tanya! I always tell my two gals that life is much richer with a best girlfriend. And what two beautiful and lovely ladies you are!!

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 19:34 #

      Karista, you are wise indeed and I hope your two girls take your words on board! Thanks for your lovely words 🙂

  10. tedgriffith May 22, 2012 at 17:49 #

    Lifetime friends are treasures beyond measure! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 19:34 #

      They are Ted, and we have to hold onto them and cherish them when we find them!

  11. Ria May 22, 2012 at 19:01 #

    Ahhhhh! Now look – you’ve made me cry! I’m lucky to have a best friend like you – let’s keep eating, drinking and laughing our way through life shall we? x

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 19:35 #

      No crying, that´s an order…unless they are happy tears! We did have fun didn´t we…and plenty more to come, we´ll be old biddies and still kicking up a storm 😉

  12. Garden Correspondent May 22, 2012 at 20:44 #

    I can count the number of close friends like this that I have on one hand with fingers to spare, but I feel so lucky to have them. It is always a challenge to live far away from those we are close to, but you have found so many lovely ways to share time with your friend, and to share some of those moments with us. Thank you!

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 20:49 #

      Thanks Siobhan – the very close friends I have like this are also few, but incredibly special. I know we work hard from both sides to keep the friendship strong and it means we can share some very special times together!

  13. bitsandbreadcrumbs May 22, 2012 at 22:12 #

    Your post and pictures made me smile! What a wonderful tribute to a great friendship. May you enjoy spending many more great times together and share many happy memories! And now, I want to be your friend and have some of that curry… 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 23, 2012 at 12:58 #

      Thank you for your lovely comment – I do indeed hope that we get to spend plenty more time together. Now…where´s that container to mail you some curry?!

  14. Just A Smidgen May 22, 2012 at 22:46 #

    What a treasured friend.. I have a few of these and plan to keep them! I love that you know each other’s ways around your kitchens.. very important indeed! I hope it isn’t too long before you get to see each other again. It must have been so difficult to move away that first time! xo Smidge

    • Chica Andaluza May 23, 2012 at 12:59 #

      The decision to move permanently was indeed a tough one…but I am lucky that with family and friends we continue to see each other regularly!

  15. Charles May 22, 2012 at 23:52 #

    You see, that *is* a friend. Few are the people in life in whose company you could pass weeks at a time and not end up getting mildly irritated at best. I like people but darn if they don’t get on my nerves after a while. I’m lucky – my wife is one of those rare people I can happily spend every waking moment with and it’s nothing but fun. A good quality in a marriage – sadly… almost bizarrely I think… I meet people sometimes who don’t have this with their partner and then I wonder why they married in the first place if they can’t stand being alone with each other for more than an hour!

    • Chica Andaluza May 23, 2012 at 13:01 #

      I so agree with you Charles. I see couples who rarely seem to spend a moment together. And while it is also important to maintain your own friendships, I too wonder why some people bother to move in together or get married when they don´t seem to be happy in each other´s company. How wonderful that you so enjoy the time you spend with your wife 🙂

  16. Maureen (@OrgasmicChef) May 23, 2012 at 00:27 #

    to me, life is all about spending time with those you love

    You’re both so lucky to have a forever friend like that. I’m really envious of the round the world trip! I could cheerfully have followed you from place to place just to see what you ate. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 23, 2012 at 13:32 #

      Ah, thank you Maureen for your lovely comment, I agree wholeheartedly! And if you had followed us around the world, you´d probably have enjoyed seeing all that we ate and drank…that was an important part of the trip for us 😉

  17. DianeT May 23, 2012 at 00:28 #

    Beautiful, beautiful post, Tanya. And such an affirmation of friendship. I’m sure we all just stopped and considered our lives and the friends we have. And what more we could do to let those friends know how special they are to us.

    • Chica Andaluza May 23, 2012 at 13:01 #

      Thanks Diane – those of us lucky enough to have these kind of relationships in our lives are very lucky indeed and we should never take that for granted. I hope I don´t.

  18. Michelle May 23, 2012 at 02:45 #

    So sweet!

  19. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise May 23, 2012 at 08:11 #

    Your post was so sweet Tanya, thank you for writing it.
    My best friend is in the US now and we too enjoy and cherich the time we get together
    Best friends are one of life’s most precious gifts

    • Chica Andaluza May 23, 2012 at 13:03 #

      Best friends are indeed a very special gift – I hope you don´t have to wait too long to see yours again!

  20. rsmacaalay May 23, 2012 at 08:50 #

    I will gorge on that squid easily, I love them grilled

    • Chica Andaluza May 23, 2012 at 13:03 #

      They´re lovely done like this and you can then add whatever sauce or dressing is your favourite!

  21. chefconnie May 23, 2012 at 15:23 #

    Looks like a lovely time. That aspargus dish makes me want to lick the screen….ooops did I say that out loud??

  22. Karen May 23, 2012 at 20:41 #

    I know that you must have had a great time together and lots of laughs. The curry meal sounds terrific.

    • Chica Andaluza May 24, 2012 at 08:49 #

      We did and the curry was great (especially when you are having cravings!)

  23. restlessjo May 23, 2012 at 22:47 #

    Here’s to good friends! (raising a glass of red) I was out walking with one this afternoon.

  24. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide May 24, 2012 at 02:08 #

    Beautiful photos. It sure does look like a rough life over there!

  25. Tandy May 24, 2012 at 06:02 #

    How lucky and blessed you are!

  26. Bluejellybeans May 24, 2012 at 14:01 #

    That is fantastic, Tanya! Is good to have a friend like that 🙂 (Loved dessert 😉 )

    • Chica Andaluza May 24, 2012 at 14:29 #

      Thanks Giovanna, I am very lucky indeed! And as for dessert, well we were too busy talking and it was a little hit of sweetness with our coffee 🙂

  27. kathryningrid May 25, 2012 at 06:49 #

    What a gorgeous couple of chicas! And spectacular dishes! And beautiful food, too!!! 😉

  28. halal786 May 25, 2012 at 09:43 #


  29. TBM May 25, 2012 at 10:20 #

    Sounds like a wonderful friendship. I’m with you, I love my friends and they are an important part of having a happy life. My best friend and I have known each for other 20 years. I’m glad you had fun!

    • Chica Andaluza May 25, 2012 at 19:59 #

      It´s so great isn´t it when you have a friendship that goes back a while – so many shared memories!

  30. foodblogandthedog May 28, 2012 at 15:40 #

    I miss my best friend Tara so much. Our lives have gone in different directions, she is now a personal trainer and does triathlons every weekend!! When we meet up about twice a year all we do is laugh. She has been asked to be a bridesmaid at her younger brother’s wedding next year. She is not married yet so it’s the last thing she wants to do especially since her brother is still 14 in her eyes (he’s 28, how did that happen?)! She has been telling me how hideous the bridesmaid dress is she HAS to wear is. I have been reassuring her that it can’t be that bad & that she looks good in anything (she really does). When I went back for my cousins 40th she showed me a picture on her phone of her in the said dress. It IS hideous!! I couldn’t stop myself from howling with laughter & pointing at the screen. It is brown (yes brown) taffeta & it looks like those dresses in fabric shop windows here that are just a piece of material wrapped around the body a few times!! We were both bent double in our chairs laughing uncontrollably, god knows what everyone thought we awere up to, we were having lunch in quite a posh restaurant at the time!! Oh I miss her…

    • Chica Andaluza May 28, 2012 at 16:16 #

      I have a wonderful cousin called Tara who is like a sister to me – there must be something in the name! I can understand how she feels about not wanting to be a bridesmaid in the first place, and as for her brother making her the hideous brown curtain dress….maybe it´s her future sister in law´s way of making sure she is not upstaged by your beautiful friend on the big day!

  31. Calico Stretch May 29, 2012 at 01:58 #

    Oh you both look so happy. Wonderful wonderful friends. Thank you for sharing this

    • Chica Andaluza May 29, 2012 at 09:12 #

      Thank you – we were very happy (and exhausted in both photos)!

  32. Michi June 2, 2012 at 15:55 #

    This post has made my heart ache for one of my closest friends, whom I haven’t seen in months now! It’s such a beautiful and heart warming part of life, having strong friendships that have lasted through the years, through thick and thin, and through pee-in-your-pants laughter and heart wrenching sobs. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza June 3, 2012 at 00:47 #

      You really get how this best friend thing works don´t you?! I feel the same!


  1. Cortijo Curry – North Indian Goat (or Lamb) Curry and a Simple Raita « Chica Andaluza - May 24, 2012

    […] further ado, here´s the recipe for the beautiful curry we made recently when Best Buddy came to stay […]

  2. Best friends, cookbooks and curry | Chica Andaluza - February 16, 2017

    […] Best friends who know too many secrets about you are worth holding on to. If they share a history with you going back to school days, consider yourself very lucky indeed. Especially if they also believe that you can never own too many recipe books. My best pal, Ria, does a grand job each year of fuelling my obsession with  cookbooks and Christmas or Birthday (and sometimes both…I’m not complaining) a new book will find its way to me and I’ll enjoy months and then years of experimenting with new recipes. […]

I love to hear what you think, please leave me a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Entre El Comal Y La Olla

Una aventura culinaria


So in 2016 I turned 50. I was in Italy for my 21st, 30th and 40th. To keep this birthday tradition going I always knew I'd be in Italy for my 50! This blog starts with my 5 week adventure in Puglia but my love affair with Italy continues.....


2nd time around

Our Growing Paynes

A journey about cooking, traveling, gardening, and crafting.

the chef mimi blog

So Much Food. So Little Time.


This site is all about gluten free cooking and more.


Trying to find order in all of this chaos

The Complete Book

A little bit of everything


Tales of adventures in quilting, gardening, photography and cooking from the Kingdom of Chiconia

Gather & Graze

In the Melting Pot of an Antipodean Kitchen

Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

Living well in the urban village


Roaming, at home and abroad

East of Málaga

Tales from the AUTHENTIC Costa del Sol .... and beyond

50 Year Project

My challenge to visit 192 countries, read 1,001 books, and watch the top 100 movies

Cooking in Sens

Living, Drinking and Eating in Burgundy


farming, gardens, cows, goats, chickens, food, organic, sustainable, photography,

Chica Andaluza

Sometimes Up a Mountain in Andalucia and sometimes Down by the Sea on the English South Coast

bits and breadcrumbs

where all trails lead to good food

The Material Lady

Fabric, life, and all that

Back Road Journal

Little treasures discovered while exploring the back roads of life

Promenade Plantings

from seed to plate

Mad Dog TV Dinners

Guess what's coming to dinner?

Food, Photography & France

Journal of a food photographer living in France

from the Bartolini kitchens

"Mangia e statti zitto!"


Creating now.

Lavender and Lime

a food and lifestyle blog ♥

Chef in disguise

Easy authentic middle eastern recipes

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

A how to for everyone and anyone

florence and freddie

the house of chairs

%d bloggers like this: